Girls Can Code, Too!

At Next Jump, we care about giving back to the community. That’s why we started our Adopt-A-School Initiative in New York and London, to “adopt” a school in need and help run their after school program. If every for-profit corporation were to adopt a school, the impact it would have on kids’ education would be huge.

 

As an engineer of our Adopt-A-School programme in London, Jessie has helped many of our eager students embark on their coding journey, being a role model for girls to learn to code. We asked Jessie to share her thoughts on being a part of the initiative and fostering students’ excitement in STEM topics.

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Jessie and her team

Adopt A School is hugely important to me because, since starting my BSc in Computer Science, I have wanted to get more girls into coding. There is a serious lack of women in the tech industry which traces back to the lack of girls doing STEM subjects. This in turn can be traced back to the fact that girls are rarely encouraged to get into tech at a young age in comparison to boys. Personally, I jumped on the band wagon far later than many of my peers since I went to an all girls school and Computer Science wasn’t even mentioned let alone offered as a subject. Adopt A School is really getting to the root of this problem, the fact that these girls as young as eight are being introduced to computing makes me unimaginably happy.

AAS has the potential to ignite an interest in technology that can be fostered and built upon in later life. I think it is invaluable to expose them to a subject that they may not encounter in their regular school curriculum and give them a taste of a topic that is so important in our world today. As well as this, the nature of the programme encourages the development of teamwork and communication skills that can be transferred to many
different aspects of their lives.

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In the few sessions I went to over the weeks, I think I have learnt to be more patient in hectic environments. I’m not sure that I will ever meet the level of patience that their brilliant teachers have but the ability to be calm and collected, to be motivating without being hyperactivating, and to encourage perseverance after a setback are skills that can help us in all sorts of situations.

The moment that really stood out for me was during my first teaching session when, unfamiliar to the software, I managed to accidentally alter the program. One of the kids offered to help and within a few clicks it was fixed. For me, this was the moment I realised how tech savvy these kids are! If at 8 years old they have such confidence with computers, imagine the potential they have to deepen this understanding as they get older.

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The student who really stood out was a girl called Salma, apart from doing brilliantly in the challenges, it was clear she gained more from Robotics Club than just programming skills. She stunned everyone with her comment on what makes a good team during the Q&A. “Resilience….” – a true NextJumper!

The competition was a huge success, I was so impressed with all of the kids. As well as having fun, you could tell that they wanted to do well and show off all of the hard work they had put in over the year. Whilst practising with them beforehand the nerves and excitement in the room really rubbed off on me! My heart was pumping as the team I was mentoring attempted the challenges in front of their school and families. Possibly the most tense moment of my life was watching our robot complete its final challenge with ten seconds left as the crowd counted down!

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Jessie has made a huge difference in these young people’s lives and we’re so proud of her and our friends at Netley!

Plus… a challenge!

  • We are looking for another tech company to adopt a local school (to go in consistently to teach their kids technology / robotics)
  • We will support you, share our lessons over the last couple of years so that you learn from our mistakes. We will also share the as well the curriculum we’ve built (so you will not need to reinvent the wheel). We can also connect you with other schools we’ve met who are crying out for help.
  • Then, this time next year: we will host another competition at Netley – but this time – with you and the school you’ve adopted – a forum for the children to showcase what they’ve learnt and also a chance to demonstrate the proactive role business can play in education!

 

To start this movement, we challenge you to join us. We’re interviewing various companies who are interested.

There’s immense purpose in “paying it forward” to the next generation. We also believe we have the capacity (and responsibility) to help our local communities, and add real value to the education system through making tech more accessible.
Get in touch with us on social media or visit nextjump.com for more information.

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